In a game of runs, Ottawa ran out of time. A fourth quarter surge led by Johnny Berhanemeskel which brought the Gee-Gees within one of the Windsor Lancers was repelled in the final minute, giving Windsor a 72-68 win.
The teams battled back and forth throughout the game, though Windsor held the lead from the start of the second quarter. At one point in the third quarter the Lancer lead ballooned to sixteen, but a resilient Ottawa squad played a strong fourth quarter to nearly overcome the deficit.
With five minutes to play, Berhanemeskel cut the lead to five with a three-pointer and then scored the transition layup after a defensive rebound was gathered by Plunkett. Plunkett, who finished the game with six points and four rebounds contributed down the stretch to help Ottawa close the gap. The first year forward was actively banging for offensive rebounds and showing his ability to finish his putback attempts.
Berhanemeskel then sank a huge shot from up top on a feed from L’Africain from the baseline to bring Ottawa within one, but the next few trips down the floor resulted in no points and Windsor inched their lead back to seven. With one final push Caleb Agada made a three to make it 71-68, but Windsor made enough free-throws down the stretch to stay ahead.
In the evenly matched first quarter, Ottawa established Gabriel Gonthier-Dubue down low and scored points in transition. The team contained the Lancers with good defence when they were able to set up, but were burned by turnovers which led to easy Lancer points. Windsor’s defence stretched the length of the court and pressured the Gee-Gees heavily on the outside. As a result, Ottawa shot only 2-for-16 from three in the first half.
Berhanemeskel finished the game with 26 points to lead all scorers, as well as seven rebounds, three steals, and a block. Berhanemeskel was 11-23 from the floor, taking over one third of Ottawa’s shots. Windsor brought a more balanced attack with three players scoring in double digits.
1 2 3 4 F
Ottawa 15 13 20 20 68
Windsor 14 22 19 17 72
Ottawa leaders: Johnny Berhanemeskel: 26 points, 7 rebounds; Caleb Agada: 9 points; Medhi Tihani: 8 points